Vitamin D Protects Against Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a forerunner to other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
A bad apple?
Having a certain body type can affect your risk for heart disease. A "pear" shape, where fat tends to concentrate around the buttocks and thighs, is associated with a lower risk, whereas an "apple" shape, where much of the fat lies in the middle of the body, boosts heart disease risk.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three of more of the following:
Metabolic syndrome is a forerunner to other chronic diseases, including stroke and type 2 diabetes.
More D means less metabolic syndrome
Researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis evaluated information from 4,727 men and women who took part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study to look for a connection between vitamin D intake and the development of metabolic syndrome over a 20-year period.
The people gave detailed information about their diets, including how much vitamin D they consumed from food and supplements. The researchers recorded the number of people who developed metabolic syndrome, as well as any of the components of the condition, including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol.
Most of the vitamin D in the participants' diets came from milk, fish, and other seafood.
"Total vitamin D consumption, including the intake of supplements, may lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome as [people] transition to middle age," the authors concluded. "Our study findings contribute to the body of literature that shows a beneficial relation of serum or dietary vitamin D with chronic disease and suggest that vitamin D intake may be a potential strategy to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease risk factors."
What else can you do?
Beyond increasing your vitamin D intake, here are some key strategies to warding off metabolic syndrome and its consequences:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96:24-9)
Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation's premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.